I've Been Wrong Before: Essays

I've Been Wrong Before: Essays

by Evan James

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From the award-winning essayist and author of the “shrewd as hell and hysterically funny” (Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties) novel Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe comes a moving and unforgettable essay collection about his travels around the globe as he reflects on the power and complexity of human relationships.

From the award-winning essay “Lover’s Theme,” in which Evan James explores the life of a drag queen in San Francisco, to his poignant story of coming out in “One Hell of a Homie,” set against the backdrop of the 1992 film Class Act, this essay collection brilliantly captures both the beauty and pain of relationships—friendly, familiar, and romantic. I’ve Been Wrong Before is an eye-opening and heartfelt illustration of how our differences are often the things that bring us closer together. Masterfully balancing tremendous insight with startling humor, this absorbing collection features Evan James’s “wry intelligence and sense of the absurd” (R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries) and is perfect for fans of Alexander Chee and Maggie Nelson.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501199653
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 03/03/2020
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Evan James is an award-winning writer whose personal essays and fiction have appeared in such publications as Travel + Leisure, Oxford American, and The New York Times, among others. He is the author of Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has received fellowships from Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Lambda Literary Writers’ Retreat, where he was an Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fellow. He lives in New York.

Table of Contents

"Lovers' Theme" 1

The Land of Sweets 19

Grotesk 35

A Happy Week 49

Just Like That 57

The Garbage Comes from the Garbage 67

My Life as Lord Byron 75

Like God 87

Tonight the Sea Is Douce 105

Seven Sensational Party Spaces 111

No Amusement May Be Made 117

A Stranger in Siem Reap 125

On the Loss of Being Here 131

Ghosts of Boystown 149

Designs 155

The Tingler 161

To the Actor 167

One Hell of a Homie 171

Natural Lives 185

A Sailor's Tale 197

First Date 205

Persuasion 209

Vanishing Days 227

Acknowledgments 241

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